Honeybunch had Sports Day. The venue was a 45 minute drive from home and the event was to start at 7 am. This meant we had to leave home at 6:15 a.m. Couple this with a planned religious event at home that needed me to be up by 3 a.m., house help’s mini sabbatical and the driver’s vanishing act around the same time frame… (I kid u not…I was in the middle of a domestic staff revamp.)
So when Honeybunch told me that she did not get shortlisted, I wasn’t hugely dejected considering the logistics nightmare that we had succeeded in avoiding!! I comforted her ….about trying harder next year…and promptly forgot about the event. So imagine my surprise when two days prior to the event the sports teacher calls me to inform that Honeybunch has indeed qualified in a race….(what I did not know then was that Honeybunch had already won the said race and was to receive the award at the venue on the Sports Day!!)
On getting the call, I was super irritated, but then looking at the sheer elation on Honeybunch’s face, I resigned myself to the inevitable. On the morning of the Sports day, once we were on our way… in jest I said to Honeybunch….’after all this, I do hope u win a medal’ and the quick negotiator in her retorted ‘What do I get if I win the medal’? “I’ll take u to the toy shop and you get to buy 5 toys of your choice.” I said.
At the venue, the teacher informed us that Honeybunch had already won in the elimination rounds held in school and would need to wait for the award ceremony to commence.
So wait we did. At 11, the awards started….many names were called out and after what seemed forever Honeybunch’s event winners were called out….all of them….but horror of horrors Honeybunch wasn’t called on stage…my heart sank…it wasn’t the effort of getting there…it wasn’t the sadness of not winning the medal….this was about Honeybunch’s hopes being dashed after a sudden happy lift. And then …. I saw Honeybunch crying…… OMG!! WTH had happened. I frantically signaled Honeybunch and her teacher. Both weren’t responding…instead both signaled ‘All is well’. If all was indeed well, then W(hy)TH was Honeybunch in tears?? After what seemed like some quick discussions, the MC halted the event and announced that they had missed Honeybunch’s name. He then proceeded to call her on stage…Ah…..so that is what had happened…they had missed announcing her name..!! Honeybunch came on stage and accepted the medal. The principal and teachers graciously clicked a group photo with her….Honeybunch joyously ran back to me.
While we were leaving someone asked Honeybunch why she cried. To which she replies ‘Coz Mamma would not have brought me the 5 toys’ Oh….heck!!!! I was the cause of tears???!!! I thought it was missing the medal that had bought on the drama!!!Oh Man!
That got me wondering…. When kids don’t rise to our expectations does the ‘not matching up to expectation’ make them sadder than not coveting the real win???? If yes, then heartbreaking indeed!! So Honeybunch cried because I had set her some expectations and she had not been able to match them and not because she missed a medal that was rightfully hers!
Darn, why did I have to throw in the toy thing??? Why did I have to goad her about winning?
But then again…..is it really wrong to set an expectation or two???? Especially when the kiddo has the potential and does rise up to the challenge and wins….!!